Located in South Goa, just two kilometers south of Colva, Benaulim Beach is one of the most peaceful beaches in Goa. While not as well-known as other Goa beaches, the beach is fairly frequented during weekends and evenings. The beach starts where the Colva beach ends and despite the increasing tourism industry of Goa, a large part of the beach still remains undiscovered where you can enjoy the solitude if you want to relax. Benaulim water is perfect for swimming, being jellyfish-free. It is rich for fishing and you can certainly enjoy the birds, palms and rolling waves of the Arabian Sea.
Based on Hindu mythology, the land of Goa originated when Shri Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, fired an arrow into the Arabian Sea, right at the summit of Western Ghats and commanded the seawaters to recede. The area where the shaft fell down to earth, referred to in Sanskrit as ‘Banali’, lies in the middle of Colva Beach, 7 kilometers west of Margao. Later on, the term ‘banali’ was changed to Benaulim during Portuguese occupation.
Also known as Banavali, Benaulim was once a fishing and agricultural village, filled with coconut groves and green paddy fields in between Colva-Mobor Road and the dunes. Today, the once shady lane is now studded with souvenir stalls and guesthouses while the paddy fields are gradually vanishing with the emergence of beach hotels, resorts and apartment blocks. However, for now, the place remains a tranquil and welcoming place to relax and unwind.
Along the beachfront, you can see litter-free white sand, together with wooden fishing boats that offer welcoming shade while walking from the palm trees to the coast. The village boasts a handful of services and facilities such as phone booths, stores, bars and restaurants. Numerous itinerant masseurs, hawkers and fruit vendors come from time to time, but you can escape this crowd by going to the south until you reach the adjacent beach Varca, a place almost untouched by the impact of tourism.
Benaulim Beach’s close proximity to Margao, along with the Christian Fishing Community, indicates seafood restaurants that serve the most competitively priced and succulent seafood in Goa. Some of the best places to eat are the beach shacks in the beachfront. However, you may even find cheaper options if you go further along the smaller terrace eateries scattered across the village. Undoubtedly, the best spots are the Hawaii Shack and the Palm Grove’s Congenial Garden Restaurant, both hard to beat in terms of seafood dishes.
Besides the beautiful Benaulim Beach, the Church of St John is a must-visit attraction in Goa. The church is found on a hill, drawing crowds of visitors from different parts of Goa. During mid-April, a number of festivals and events happen in the beach such as the Beach Bonanza every Sunday.
In terms of accommodation, you can choose from a wide range of beach hotels and resorts depending on your budget. The Taj Exotica is perhaps the crowning glory of Benaulim, along with other top accommodations like Carina Beach Resort, Hotel Failaka, Lotus Suites and Jupiter Resort and Spa.
The well-established road networks in Goa provide plenty of tourists accessibility and convenience in getting around the state. To get to Benaulim Beach, travelers may catch bus services that have regular stops in Colva, Varca, Mobor and Cavelossim.